Nowadays the importance of gathering and parsing data cannot be overstated. Data acquired from web scrapers can be used for pricing intelligence, market trend analysis and many other important business ventures. Leveraging data to its fullest potential is quickly becoming a key component and requirement of any business.
When gathering data for business, there are multiple paths one can take to collect the information. For most companies there are two main options – finding the best web scraper on the market or building an in-house data gathering tool. Most choose to build an infrastructure supported by proxies. However, even if this solution is the most popular choice by most, it is not necessarily the most optimal.
That is why here at Oxylabs, we offer both proxies and already built web scraping tools. One of such solutions is Web Scraper. It is a quick and easy web scraping and data gathering tool built to scrape any target of your choice. Let’s dig a little bit deeper on how Web Scraper works and what are its benefits. Or feel free to check out our Account Manager Gabriele explaining what Web Scraper is below:
What is Web Scraper?
Web Scraper is a data gathering tool allowing you to scrape any target of your choice. There is no need to set up proxies or manage them. All you need to do is give us a URL, and we’ll give back the data back in HTML format.
Web Scraper is intended to remove the hassle and pain of managing a data gathering infrastructure. Building an in-house solution requires companies to go through a long and difficult process of creating scripts, building a scraping path (or a link list), buying and managing proxies just to get the, hopefully, best web scraper off the ground. With our data gathering tool, web scraping becomes significantly easier as the entire process is managed on our side. All our users need to do is parse the data they receive.
Web Scraper benefits
Web Scraper has a few distinct benefits that should be taken into consideration when choosing a scraping solution for your business:
- It is easy to use – all you need to do is provide us with a URL you wish to scrape, and the Web Scraper will give back your data in HTML.
- You can scrape any target – choose any target you wish to scrape.
- It is ready to use – no need to manage proxies, and forget building or maintaining a scraper – we’ll do it for you.
Most importantly, our Web Scraper allows you to cut through the acquisition process and go straight to data parsing and analysis. Instead of spending time and resources on proxy management, focus on implementing data-driven business solutions.
Finding the best web scraper: the alternatives
It is important to note that Web Scraper is a data gathering tool especially suitable for those who don’t want to scrape challenging targets such as search engines or e-commerce websites but need a reliable and fast scraper API for any other source.
If you need to scrape search engines, e-commerce websites or require a solution for product page intelligence, the best web scraper solution for this would be Real-Time Crawler. We have gone into great detail what is Real-Time Crawler and its benefits, so make sure to check our blog post. In short, our Real-Time Crawler is made for those who want to focus on data analysis instead of data gathering as it allows for an efficient way to collect and parse data.
Both Web Scraper and Real-Time Crawler are based on the same principles but intended for slightly different tasks. In essence, both of these tools are used for data gathering. Which one will be the best web scraper for your projects will depend on the targets chosen.
Finally, there is always the option of building your own in-house data gathering tool. Unfortunately, in-house solutions require a dedicated developer (or tech) team to manage the scraping, proxy rotation and data parsing process. If the infrastructure isn’t already there, buying a out-of-the-box solution and looking for the best web scraper available will generally be the better option.
Why do we recommend Web Scraper?
So, why should you choose Web Scraper over proxies? Or perhaps, you should choose Real-Time Crawler instead?
According to our Product Owner Aleksandras Sulzenko, there are quite a few reasons why Web Scraper should be your choice:
The biggest downside to using proxies is that they need to be managed and maintained – that means spending extra resources and time. On the other hand, that won’t be an issue with Web Scraper, as all of the proxy management will be done on our side.
The whole work process of Web Scraper is simply a lot more resource-efficient. You can make use of the Callback method with which you don’t have to keep an open connection or check your task status and can collect your data whenever you need it (within 24 hours).
If you’re torn between choosing Web Scraper or Real-Time Crawler – it really depends on what target sites you want to scrape. If it’s a big search engine or any e-commerce site, Real-Time Crawler is your best option. If you also have a bunch of small target sites – I recommend you use both. This way you’ll have the highest chance to successfully gather data from multiple targets without having to worry about managing proxies, avoiding captchas, and scaling your whole infrastructure.
When choosing between proxies or Web Scraper – the latter is a choice that will not only be easier to manage but will be a more efficient and time-saving solution for your business. Forget about managing the scraping infrastructure, we will do it for you!
If you want to get started with your web scraping or other data gathering projects, you can sign up by clicking here! You can also contact our sales department if you still have questions or want to iron out the final details.